Make The Zest Of Your Summer By Using The Whole Citrus Fruit

Cooking. Baking. Beverage-ing. DIY’ing. Citrus is truly a snack of all trades. Here are some ways to use the whole citrus fruit this summer in your recipes and more.

There’s nothing quite like freshly squeezed juice to brighten up a recipe or simply enjoy on its own. Follow these tips to squeeze the most out of your citrus.

Roll the fruit on a countertop with the palm of your hand to break the juice sacs. Cut the fruit in half crosswise and squeeze out the juice by hand or with an electric juicer.

Pro-Tip: Room temperature citrus yields more juice.

Sounds like a small detail, right? We thought so too until we started adding it to…uh, just about everything. Salads, desserts, even the rim of margaritas. If your recipe needs a citrusy kick, zesting is the way to go. Plus, it’s a nice way to put the peel to good use, and who doesn’t love that?

Orange, lemon, grapefruit….really, any citrus will do. Pick your favorite, give it a good rinse, and let’s get this party started.

Well, to be honest, it’s really up to you. There’s all kinds of zesting! But might we suggest…

The fine zest: Ideal for salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and baking mixes (like cookie dough and cake batter). Requires a rasper, grater, or something called a microplane.

The coarse zest: Great for adding texture to food. We recommend trying it in salads or heartier baked goods (like muffins or bread). All you need is a zester and you’re good to go.

The “no fancy tools required” zest: Hey, we don’t all have graters laying around, right? In that case, use a knife to cut off a piece of the peel and slice (or dice) it into thin strips. Makes for a great topping for icings.

If you thought it was just a trendy way to prepare citrus, oh boy are your taste buds in for a treat. Charring takes the bright, fresh taste of citrus and richens it with deep, smoky flavors. It’s the perfect way to add savory notes to any of your favorite dishes. And it just takes a little heat. Michelin stars: incoming.

A little oil and something that gets hot. You can grill it, broil it, roast it, put it on a skillet or simply warm it. Then citrus, of course.

Cut the citrus into halves, slices, or wedges (whatever you’re into) and place onto a hot grill or grill pan, flesh side down, until char marks appear on the fruit. Should take roughly 4 minutes. And if you don’t have a grill, don’t sweat it. Citrus can also be charred in a conventional oven (sigh, so versatile). Just crank the heat up to ‘broil’, place your citrus cut-side up on a baking sheet, and cook for 10-15 minutes.

P.S. For added caramelization (not the candy), you can dip the flesh of the citrus into a little bit of sugar before heating. We can hear the “Mmm’s” now.

P.P.S. Did you know charring is great for drinks and desserts, too? Yup, you can easily add a smoky flavor to margaritas, lemonades, and more. And if you’re feeling really fancy, give dessert a touch of brulee with charred garnishes sprinkled in brown sugar.

First comes fresh lemon juice, then comes everything you can do with leftover lemons, starting with this DIY idea.

This super easy preserved lemon hack just adds to our long list of why we love lemons.


  • Some juiced lemon halves
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Add juiced lemon halves to a bowl. Toss in equal parts salt and sugar and add to a jar. Add more of the salt and sugar mixture as you place lemons in the jar. Top with some lemon juice and seal the jar. Leave the jar at room temperature for 1 week. Take out contents from the jar, clean off the pith and enjoy!


From self-care to cleaning solutions, citrus does it all. Head over to Three Ways To Make A Summer Of Self-Care With Citrus to read all about what else you can do with summer citrus.

Other Stories